-Sunday summer day 1941, Moscow Motocross Championship. Competitions are in full swing, a tense struggle flared up on the track. Athletes drive up to the next checkpoint to make a mark on the sheet, and then, holding it in his teeth, continue the race … But the controller is not in place. In complete bewilderment, they head to the finish line. “The competition is canceled - the war …” So for the participants of that race another struggle began, severe and dangerous. The main prize for the winners is life. And on June 27, 1941, at the Dynamo Stadium, the first detachments of the Special Motorized Rifle Brigade of Special Purpose (OMSBON) were formed from volunteer athletes. Motocross athletes who participated in that last pre-war championship joined its ranks. The tasks of the brigade included the implementation of special tasks to ensure communications, the organization of reconnaissance and sabotage operations behind enemy lines, the elimination of enemy agents, and assistance to the partisan movement. Almost always, this meant a risk of getting a bullet. Now, each of those front-line racers is already far "over 80". However, "everyone" remained units. Three of them told Moto readers about military days.
Gennady FOMIN, master of sports in motocross, honored trainer of the USSR, former coach of the national team, judge of the international category, honorary vice-president of the International Motorcycle Federation, retired lieutenant colonel, veteran of the OMSBON:
- I learned about the beginning of the war in those very competitions and the very next day I went to the draft board. But they refused me - my year for calling has not yet come. I read in Pravda that a special team of athletes is being formed at the Dynamo stadium. Together with his friend, the famous rower Alexander Lavrushin, he went on a volunteer record. And here they took me! In addition to athletes, the brigade included a battalion of Spaniards who came to the USSR after the revolution in their country. We, the recruits, were sent to the Moscow Region to learn military skills, subversive affairs, and sabotage.
We returned to Moscow in mid-October 1941. The situation in the city is unimaginable: the mood of many is panicky, the evacuation has not yet ended, and the enemy is already in Kryukov … They were preparing for the defense of the capital, for street battles. The brigade approached the Kremlin. The department that I commanded occupied the first floor of the GUM, just opposite the Mausoleum. They ordered: tanks will appear - to open fire, first of all, to disable equipment. But the tanks did not enter the city. Only once did a plane break into Moscow’s airspace, one of the bombs hit the Kremlin … A little later, the army of the Siberians pulled themselves up to ensure the defense of the city.
Soon I transferred to a motorcycle company. There was a company, but no motorcycles. We were ordered to search for equipment and confiscate. It was practically not necessary to take away motorcycles from the citizens in favor of the army - a lot of the trophies went after the defeat of the Nazis in Kryukov. Our main job is to keep in touch with the advanced parts - after all, the wires of the transmission lines were torn. So we were sent for information, to forward orders, to clarify the disposition of compounds and individual parts. We tried in vain not to engage in open battle - much more important was the information we were carrying. And how to shoot if the hands hold the steering wheel?
Officers were also brought to the front lines. Once I was carrying a colonel in a wheelchair, when suddenly the Germans! They blocked the road and opened fire. It was about the time when the earth was in the snow, and they were in white camouflage uniforms - you won’t figure out how many of them, from where they scorch …. I told the colonel: “Lie down!” - and gas to capacity!.. When they escaped, they drove to a safe distance and stopped, I looked - the stroller was covered in bullet holes, but not a single one hit me or the colonel.
Then I was sent to a special detachment in the Caucasus, my other hobby came in handy there - climbing. In the mountains, not up to motorcycles - here he fought differently …
- In the summer of the 41st, at the last pre-war motocross championship in Moscow, I played for the team of the Institute of Physical Education. By the way, I was not just an amateur athlete, once this was my profession. At that time, he worked at the Moscow Motor Plant, tested and tested the then-new M-72s. This model with a stroller was an exact copy of the German BMW. When the enemy approached the city, the plant was evacuated to Irbit, but I did not go to the rear - I wanted to go to the front, although I was released from military service. We were raised by patriots, everyone considered it an honor to defend our homeland. I was then 20 years old. Our entire institute sports team enrolled in OMSBON. Not only motorcyclists - many well-known athletes, say, track and field athletes of the Znamensky brothers, boxer and track and field athlete Boris Galushkin and others, were included in the brigade.
Communication companies were formed from motorcyclists. Who, if not us, could provide communication between the troops in those conditions!.. And we acted clearly, quickly, accurately. And they were fearless … You won’t be especially trainy on the highway - they will fire, therefore they more often traveled over rough terrain, through forests. That's where the cross-country skills came in handy! And still the Germans even caught here: having studied our “routes”, we pulled ropes between the trees. In the 41st winter came early, piled snow - and the ropes can not be distinguished. Many guys flew at them and died, because the speed developed at a maximum speed of up to 80 km / h … God probably kept me, although at that time it did not exist for us.
We drove on the M-72, captured NSU, BMW and Zundapp, later the Americans sent Harley-Davidson and Indian. The equipment could not withstand the loads. The most common malfunction - from the blows the wheelchair axis broke. They delivered fuel with huge interruptions, so instead of gasoline, they often had to fill kerosene and even moonshine in tanks. Started from the pusher - rolled the car from the hill. At the same time, they themselves warmed up - in winter, on a motorcycle in the cold, you know, it’s not very pleasant. But there was no choice - the war made the rules … They brought scouts, delivered urgent reports, brought tol and capsules for mines. These things are very dangerous: from the slightest blow, the capsules could detonate … Therefore, they were taken separately from the tol - in the carriage of another motorcycle. But sometimes they forgot about the danger. Once the sappers mined the highway, it turned out there were not enough detonators. And you need to finish the job quickly - the enemy column is about to come. Then my friend from the institute, Raul Gubaidulin (in general, his name is Ravil, but the Spaniards were in the detachment, they also called Ravil in their own way - Raul), so he jumped on the motorcycle, shouted: “I am now” - and carried away. And he quickly returned. He opened his quilted jacket - and everyone rushed away from him: Raul made incisions in the lining and inserted detonator caps into them. I risked being blown up, but delivered a dangerous cargo on time.
Our team participated in the mining of Moscow, and then, when the Nazis retreated, and in mine clearance. I was in the detachment that mined the Moscow Hotel, the Hall of Columns and other important buildings … Can you imagine how I felt when I was preparing to destroy what I loved, which every Muscovite was proud of.
In the 44th I was sent to a special squad in Belarus. This territory has already been liberated from the Nazis, but we worked "under the Germans", who seemed to have remained here. They misinformed the enemy and caught scouts. I took them on a motorcycle to a command location. I remember preparing for the next departure, started a motorcycle. The commander, having heard the roar of the engine, asked his adjutant: "What kind of noise is this?" - "The king is warming up the motorcycle." - "Checkmate this King!"
But the "mat" almost put me … a disease - I miraculously did not die from typhus. Georgy Znamensky, the USSR champion in running, was a doctor in our detachment, and together with an assistant in the medical unit Anatoly Shatrov literally dragged me from the other world.
- I started to fight earlier - back in the Finnish war. After she worked as a run-in at the Moscow Motor Plant with Yura Korol. And he also performed at those memorable competitions. We met at the Dynamo Stadium, where volunteers were gathered. On the same M-72 that they tested, and served.
From the city to the east, human rivers flowed into the evacuation, but meanwhile looters appeared in Moscow. We were ordered to shoot them on the spot! And we caught them, happened to be punished. But looting was eradicated in a few days.